Top 10 state stars emerge from the aspire Meghalaya State Summit 2022 at the SICPAC

Shillong, Dec 14: Over 1500 students from 62 campuses across districts converged at the Shillong International Centre for Performing Arts and  Culture (SICPAC) for the Aspire Meghalaya State Summit 2022 held here today, in the presence of Shri. Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya.

Above 36 talents from across a diverse range of talent spaces, such as singing, dance, contemporary performances, musical instruments art and  craft and sustainable innovation, took the stage to represent their schools and respective districts, and showcased their talents at a grand event, in front of a panel of judges and the State Summit audience.

These talents emerged from the State’s largest Soft Skills and Talent Identification programme under the Aspire Meghalaya initiative, from a pool of over 13,000 youths and, subsequently, 348 talents who represented 62 partner campuses at talent events held in their respective districts in the months of October and November.

The Top 3 Aspire State Stars include, in no particular order,First Colour Lathong Musical Instruments, aged 19, Class 12, St. Dominic Higher Secondary School, Mookyndeng, West Jaintia Hills District; Rida L Nonglait Singing, aged 15, Class 9, Kynshi Higher Secondary School, Kynshi, Eastern West Khasi HillsDistrict and Phibalari Thongni Dance, aged 14, Class 9, St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Rangblang, South West Khasi Hills District.

Fiuberth Ch Momin Art and  Craft, aged 21, Class 11, Captain Williamson Memorial Government College, South Garo Hills District; Fastrossing Kharsyntiew, aged 21, and Pynshaibor Wahlang Sustainable Innovation, aged 19, Class 12, Sibsingh Memorial Government Higher Secondary School, West Khasi Hills District; Excellency Turnia Musical Instrument, aged 20, 1st Sem, Sngap Syiem College, South West Khasi Hills.

Jiovanni Nongrum Singing, aged 22, 5th Sem, Nongstoin College, West Khasi Hills District; Gavy Jones Lyngdoh Marshillong Dance, aged 21, 5th Sem, Nongstoin College, West Khasi Hills District; Wadamika Phalangki Singing, aged 18, Class 12, Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Jowai, West Jaintia Hills District; Annyzza Gratel Lyngdoh Singing, aged 20, 3rd Sem, Ri Bhoi College, Ri Bhoi District; and Anastacia Sun Singing, aged 17, Class 11, Kynshi Higher Secondary School, Eastern West Khasi Hills District, were among the Top 10 in no particular order.

The state-wide talent contingent arrived at the State Capital on 9th December, accompanied by their parents and teachers, and have since then been preparing for the State Summit, a culmination programme of the year-long Aspire Meghalaya programme.

As part of their preparation for the State Summit, the 36 talents were provided with talent mentorship sessions from renowned artists such as Kitkupar Shangpliang and Pynsuklin Syiemiong from Meghalaya-based fusion rock band, Summer salt; Benedict Skhemlang Hynniewta, Tengnang D Sangma, Lamphang Syiemlieh, Anniesha Mawrie, Shepherd Najiar, Gracyl Ropmay, Rida Gatphoh, Naga Karthik MP, Banshai Mukhim, Shaun Morehead Nonghulo.

The members of the Talent Selection Jury included Mikhail Marak, Simi Khongtiang, Benedict SkhemlangHynniewta, Monica Chanda, Dr. N. Munish Singh, Careen Joplin Langstieh and Meba Ofilia.

Today’s event also saw the release of the Meghalaya Youth Survey 2022 Study by Smti. W A M Booth, Director, Sports and  Youth Affairs Department, Government of Meghalaya in the presence of Smti. S R Marak, Joint Secy., Sports and  Youth Affairs Department and Dr N Munish Singh, Zonal Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, North-East India.

Over 300 campuses participated in the youth survey through the support of over 500 teachersstate-wide. The study released today was reviewed by the APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy, Research & Analysis, IIM Shillong.

Speaking at the function today, Shri Conrad K Sangma said, “I believe that everybody is special. But many of our youths go through their lifetimes without realising their true potential. Sometimes even if they know what they are good at, they don’t get the opportunity to display their talents, pursue their dreams and excel in their God-given talents.”

He further said that the youth of our State need to be directed and their energies channelized in the right way. “Programmes like Aspire are the small but important steps that we are taking as the State Government in order to ensure that we are able to provide our youth with the best opportunities that they deserve,” he added.

He went on to say that the youth is India’s biggest strength and biggest challenge, and what matters is how they are taken care of. “It is upon the government and all community leaders from parents to teachers, traditional and religious leaders to ensure that we are able to channelise our youth’s energy into the most constructive force that will take our state and country forward.

Aspire Meghalaya programme is part of that big picture and I am happy that we have seen such great talents today. We intend to not only identify these talents, but promote them and take them forward,” he said.

Smti. Jenny Synrem, Community Mobilisation, State Education Mission Authority of Meghalaya, District Sports Officers and other officials from the department were also present at the function. Special invitees to the event included the Principals, teachers and parents of the students from across districts.

Also speaking at the function today was Bakordor W Bannett, Principal, Pariong Presbytery Higher Secondary School, who expressed her gratitude to the Chief Minister and the State Government for allowing such programmes to happen, and to the implementation agency, Avenues, for having have reached out to schools in the interior-most parts of Meghalaya.

“By reaching out to us at our schools, you have reached out to our hearts. You were able to bring our students out of their shells. I have witnessed that many students, who have never spoken or taken the stage, have learnt to express themselves and display their talents at the school level and even on a platform as big as this event.

It is heart-warming to see such wonderful talents. You have inspired our students to boost their confidence, to identify their own strengths and their leadership values.” Speaking to the Aspire students, she said, “You are already stars, shining in your home, school and locality. And I know that this opportunity will help you shine brighter and brighter each day.”

A special moment captured today was the debut performance of the Aspire Meghalaya Anthem by the Aspire District Stars featuring Meghalaya-based Fusion Rock Band, Summersalt. The anthem was composed and produced by renowned musical artists of the state namely Kit Shangpliang, PynsuklinSyiemiong, Gregory Ford Nongrum, Daryl Diengdoh, Augustine Kurbah and Aroha Choir.

Another key highlight was the Indigenous Confluence which featured the Aspire Indigenous Artists from Adokgiri Secondary School, Nongstoin College and Pariong Presbytery Higher Secondary School.

The 44 indigenous artists were amongst the 348 talents who performed at the district level talent showcase. While they did not make it to the Top 36, the need to provide them with the platform to encourage indigenous performing arts was felt by the programme stakeholders.

Launched in March 2022, the Aspire Meghalaya initiative is focused on encouraging grassroot youth engagement, building critical soft skills for life, improving career aspirations, and identifying emerging talents across districts.

The programme is an initiative of the Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya and supported by the State Education Mission Authority Meghalaya (SEMAM SSA). The project is implemented by Meghalaya-based Social Enterprise, AVENUES




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